How to Choose the Best Makeup Mirror Magnification

How to Choose the Best Makeup Mirror MagnificationA magnifying makeup mirror can help you get a good view of where you’re applying your makeup, but more isn’t always better.

How can you choose the best makeup mirror magnification for your needs? We’re going to help you find the right level for you, so you can choose a mirror that will help you get that flawless look you want.

Magnification Ranges from 5x to 15x

Makeup mirrors come in a wide range of magnification levels, from 5x all the way to 15x. The higher the magnification, the smaller the field of view.

A mirror with 5x magnification will have a 1.5″ field of view, while a mirror with 10x magnification will have a 0.5″ field of view.

Because higher magnification levels have a smaller field of view, they’re not recommended for makeup application. The image gets distorted at these high levels, and you won’t be able to view your entire face.

The Level You Choose Depends On Your Eyesight

Makeup mirrors are great for helping you get a closer view of your face, but magnification is really designed for people with vision problems.

If you wear glasses, you need to remove them before applying makeup. A magnification mirror acts as your glasses, allowing you to see clearly while applying your makeup.

If you must have magnification and you don’t have vision problems (or you wear contacts), a 5x model is a good choice. You’ll get a closer look at your face, but the image won’t be distorted and you won’t be obsessing over a stray hair here or an enlarged pore there.

Dual, or Single Sided?

Makeup mirrors may be single or dual sided. If dual-sided, they may have one side without magnification and one side with it, or they may both have magnification.

Some mirrors even have an extra, smaller magnification mirror attached to the bottom of the mirror face (similar to the picture-in-picture idea).

Decide whether a single or dual side mirror is the right choice for you and your makeup style. Many people find that dual-sided mirrors are best, preferably ones with a magnification side and non-magnification side. This way, you can get the magnification you need, then flip to the other side to get a normal view of your face.

Where Will You Use the Mirror?

Where do you plan to place the mirror? Will you hang it on the wall, or will it sit on your tabletop? The answer to this question will also help you determine the magnification level you’ll need.

If the mirror will be hung on a wall, you may need a higher level so that you can see clearly from a good distance away.

But if you’re going for a tabletop mirror, you may not need as high of a magnification level.

Always take the location of the mirror into consideration when choosing a magnification level.

If you’re buying a handheld mirror, go with the lowest level possible, so you aren’t staring your pores in the face each time you put on your makeup.

Take Your Lighting Into Consideration

What type of lighting will you be using? If you’re using a handheld or portable mirror, this may not be something you need to be worried about. But if you’re using a tabletop or mounted mirror, you need to consider the lighting situation in the room.

Ideally, you’ll choose a mirror with built-in lighting. Mirrors with LED natural daylight lights will give you the best lighting for makeup application. Daylight is the absolute best lighting for makeup, but natural daylight bulbs are the next-best thing.

Choose a Mirror Type that Fits Your Needs

When choosing a magnification mirror, there are several different types available. The right one for you will depend on your needs and how you apply your makeup.


Tabletop mirrors are the most common, and they have a lot going for them. For starters, these mirrors are easily transportable. They also usually have two sides, so you can choose between magnification and a normal mirror.

While these mirrors can easily be transported, some of them are fragile and aren’t ideal for traveling.

Compact or Handheld

If you plan to travel often with your mirror, a handheld or compact model is the ideal choice. Some compact models can still stand up nicely on a tabletop, but are foldable and/or made of plastic so they don’t shatter.

A handheld mirror fits nicely into a bag or purse, which makes it easy to take with you on the go.

If you want a magnification mirror you can take anywhere (you know, for plucking those stray hairs), a compact or handheld model is ideal.


Tri-fold mirrors are also a tabletop mirror, but they may or may not offer magnification. These typically have lights attached, and will give you views of all angles of your face.

Many people prefer this type of makeup mirror because you can see the entire look and make adjustments as needed. If you want to look good from every angle, this type of mirror is the right choice.


If you’re looking for a more permanent mirror, a wall-mounted, or mirror-mounted, model is the right choice. These mirrors usually have some type of magnification, and many have arm attachments that allow you to pull the mirror closer or move it to whichever direction you need.

These mirrors might mount into the wall, or they may use a very strong suction cup to attach to a bathroom mirror. Many people prefer the suction cup mirrors because they’re so easy to mount.


Lighted mirrors may come in any one of the above forms: compact, tabletop, wall-mounted or tri-fold.

If you have poor lighting in your bathroom or bedroom, a lighted mirror is recommended. Opt for a model that uses LED lights and a color that’s closer to natural daylight.

Finding the right magnification makeup mirror isn’t easy. If you don’t have vision problems, you might find that the magnification is too much and distorts your image to the point where you can’t apply your makeup properly. Opt for lower magnification levels if you don’t have vision problems, and choose a mirror type that fits your lifestyle.


  1. I have a makeup mirror (magnified) that needs to be replaced, but I don’t know what the magnification is. Is there a way for m to tell?

    Thank you!

  2. Beautifully written article. When it comes to magnification I think that 3 to 5x offers great versatility and is great for the general user. 7, 10x are more for people that have bad eye-sight or professional makeup artists that really need to nail the details (same goes for the super potent 15x spot mirrors). Good job, keep it up!

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